​​What business in Singapore can I do with $20k?

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Written By Loanbuddy Singapore
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​​What business in Singapore can I do with $20k?

Entrepreneurs face difficulty when it comes to investment for starting any business. Heavy funds infusion is the key to a successful business in Singapore.

The government of Singapore has been supporting and promoting the latest innovations to newcomers in the business industry. With the advantage of a business-friendly environment, many startups are being launched every day in Singapore.

But what if we tell you that it’s possible to start a business with just $20k in Singapore? Yes! You can achieve heights of success in business with just a capital of $20K. For this, you are required to give attention to details and figure out solving day-to-day hassles. As a Singaporean, this article will help you in finding out what all businesses are there that you can pick and start with just a small capital of $20k.

Why should I start a business in Singapore?

business in singapore

First of all, Singapore is considered one of the most startup-friendly countries in the entire globe. With an opulent economy, Singapore encourages a person to start his or her entrepreneurial journey smoothly. It is even ranked in the top five places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business. There are three reasons why various small and medium business opportunities are present in Singapore-

  • Backed by government support for startups– The Singaporean government is itself very committed to supporting startups on a large scale. It is providing huge support in terms of grants, funding, and subsidies for local and international startups to make them grow. Enterprise Development Grant and the Startup SG Tech are two of the grants the government generally offers. The government supports you on the labour and other component costs when you are eligible to avail of one of the grants. The government has been a consistent supporter of tech-enabled startups so much that the country now competes with Silicon Valley when it comes to startup talent.
  • Business-friendly laws and regulations– You get one of the most effective and less compliant taxes and company laws structured here in Singapore. Not only individuals but even local companies can also avail of the partial exemption from income taxes. Entrepreneurs who want to develop a business in Singapore are attracted due to friendly laws and regulations.
  • Incorporation in quick time– Incorporating a business in Singapore is super-speedy and easy. Singapore is one of the least inflexible countries in the world where you can incorporate your company within just 3 working days that too electronically.

What makes it easy to start a business in Singapore?

business in singapore

All you need to register your company or business in Singapore is one shareholder, one director, one company secretary, a local address, and a share capital of just $1. You can register your company on the ACRA within 3 days.

In the case of a sole proprietorship, you will just need to submit your business name, business activity details, local business address, bank details and identification document.

What are the key challenges to setting up a business in Singapore?

Before jumping into the entrepreneurial world, you must be aware of the challenges that a business face in its operation. Singapore gives you a lot of scopes to grow as an entrepreneur but there are also some challenges one needs to face while starting any business here. Here’s the list of key challenges you may face-

  • A high cost of living makes things expensive. If you are bootstrapping your business idea, you will be needing a cost-cutting and cost-effective approach to your business model.
  • Office rents can be high, so choose your office location appropriately. With the ongoing demand of work from home, if your startup can be run from home, you can save money on rent easily.
  • The talent shortage is also a challenge that arises often. You need to find a robust team to achieve success. However, you can hire staff from all over the world if your business is an all-remote business.
  • Singapore market is highly competitive which means you need to be the best at what you are doing. The best research and development can help you become the market leader if done right.

Best business in Singapore to start with $20k?

business in singapore

After understanding the potential of doing business in Singapore, it’s time to know what type of businesses you can do with a small capital like $20k. Here are some business ideas you can execute with a limited amount of money.

  1. Catering Food and Connecting Caterers With Consumers

Despite the growing competition among giant players like FoodPanda and Urban, there is still a huge gap between home-based caterers and consumers. People in Singapore are crazy about food which is why the food industry is seeing continuous growth year after year.

From catering your home-cooked food to consumers, you can also build a platform where you can act as a mediator between catering businesses and customers.

 To start this business, you will need a strong social media presence and a great network. If you have more capital, you can also hire a website developer to create your website to list the caterers. As far as the revenue model is concerned, you can charge a commission on each transaction occurred. This commission amount then can be further used to expand the business.

In the beginning, you can take delivery on your own. As you expand and grow your business, you can outsource this part by tying up with the delivery partners. 

Things required:

  • A strong social media presence on platforms like Instagram, Whatsapp
  • Website or app
  • Delivery vehicles.

Initial cost:

  • Between 0 to $200

Things to keep in mind:

In Singapore, the food and grocery delivery market already is very competitive. Even though there are only a few companies in the market but they could anytime dominate the space and capture the entire market. You will need perseverance, determination and uniqueness to stand out from the others to build your brand loyalty.

  • Content Delivery, Content Management and Social Media Management Services

Every business has its online presence. Especially after Covid-19 hit, even small businesses are forced to come online. Content like website blogs and social media engagement has contributed to an immense boom in the growth of businesses. Now every e-commerce platform looks up to create such content that can go viral and gain popularity.

It may seem like it’s an easy job. However, there are professionals behind this who make it possible to create smooth content for the company’s website, app, and social media platforms. If you think you can trade with words and understand how social media algorithm works, you can build a company that delivers content creation and management services.

For this, you will need to pitch your clients to start. It can be run as a one-person business till you expand it to make it a bigger company with multi-talented people. Once you expand, you can hire professionals from different specialized backgrounds who can deliver outstanding content to your clients.

Things you need:

  • Your website or social media account like Instagram or LinkedIn.

Initial Cost:

  • Between 0 to $200

Things to keep in mind:

You must be very good at understanding practices like SEO and social media algorithms and creativity. If you have previous experience, it can give you the advantage to grow your business faster. By working on a specific niche, you can differentiate yourself from others and create your business presence effectively.

  • Pet Care Services
business in singapore

Singapore is an animal-friendly country where citizens love their dogs, cats and other pets. The country gives facilities to pet parents to live the best life possible with pets. However, not every pet parent is great with pets at the beginning. They need someone who can take care of their animals better than they do. Here comes the idea of pet care in the picture. This pet-sitting service not only has the potential to make money but it’s very interesting at the same time. You get plenty of time to spend with your favourite different animals daily.

Pet sitting can be started at zero cost. You will need to invest your time rather than money. You can consider the bare minimum cost of setting up a website or a social media account to promote and advertise your business. As you grow, you can hire members in your team who are great at pet sitting. Once you generate enough revenue, you can even build your pet boarding service centre.

Things you need:

  • Website or a social media account

Initial cost:

  • Between $200.

Things to keep in mind:

Even if you are great with pets, this isn’t just about it. You must take utmost care to meet their needs as well. Pet parents will trust you more if you hold an animal behavioural certificate or a relevant degree in hand. In addition, you should not note you may need to go to strangers’ houses for pet sitting.

  • Online Event Hosting and Management Services

Have you ever desired to host and manage events but didn’t chase them due to huge logistics requirements? Now, you can do it!

Especially from the last 3 years, hosting webinars for a birthday or any personal event has become so much easier with the help of the internet. The covid-19 pandemic pushed events to be conducted online which created a lot of opportunities for those who want to take up event management as a service.

Businesses often hire an event management team from outside to host their official meetings and parties. If you have the skills of organizing and managing events, you can simply subscribe to premium versions of online video conferencing apps to grow your idea.

Here’s the step-by-step service guide you can consider from pre to post-event:

  • Planning and hosting the event.
  • Inviting the participants
  • Event management on an actual day.
  • Handling sudden disruptions.
  • Taking feedback and reviews.

Since physical events have erased the bulky costs, you can invest your $20k to maximize your returns because of the lesser logistics needed.

Things required:

  • Smooth internet services
  • Subscription to video conferencing apps
  • Online presence such as social media account

Initial investment:

  • Just $200 per year including internet and subscription.

Things to keep in mind:

If you are highly skilled at management then only you should consider this idea for execution. Bad reviews from customers can have a significant negative impact on your brand. So it is necessary to have a good reputation and connection with the customer. Working on efficacy and efficiency can help you increase your customer repeat rate.

  • Sell Specialized Coffee
business in singapore

Coffee lovers are scattered not only in Singapore but all over the world. Millions of people love coffee because it helps them stay awake during sleepy hours and remain productive. At present, there is a huge market for coffee consumption which is increasing day by day.

The coffee industry has high competition but if you sell specialized coffee to consumers, you can still attract them and create your own market space.

Opening a coffee shop with just $20k might not be a good idea due to high premise rentals and equipment rentals. However, it is very feasible to sell your coffee products such as coffee sachets, and coffee beans online with low investment.

You should focus on creating a USP (Unique Selling Product) to stand out from this cluttered market. Creating a different coffee blend or combination of coffee and tea can also take place in the coffee industry.

If you are limited with capital, you should keep your USPs as low as possible and later expand them as you grow.

Things required:

  • Coffee beans
  • Kitchen for experimenting and preparation
  • Equipment for roasting coffee beans
  • A great marketing strategy in mind
  • Creating a presence on online marketplaces

Initial Investment

  • As low as $15k

Things to keep in mind:

The food and beverages industry is already flooded with big, medium and small players. However, you are always welcomed to experiment. You need intense research in hand to understand customers’ tastes and preferences. Once you understand that, you can even charge a premium price for your coffee product and create a different niche in the coffee market.

  • Become a bookkeeper

Bookkeeping is a type of function which is constantly needed by large, medium and small enterprises. As a business grows, the need to maintain the records increases. Bookkeeping service is needed across all types of business sectors.

If you have a relevant degree in finance and accounts, you can start your own company that provides bookkeeping services to other businesses. Bookkeeping services include handling accounts receivables, billing invoices accounts payable management.

This business can be started at your home and can be expanded later as it grows. You can even onboard more talent to the team later.

Things required:

  • A robust bookkeeping software
  • Website
  • Local address
  • File-sharing tools and client database software

Initial Investment:

  • An average investment of $515.

Things to keep in mind:

Instead of pitching to various types of businesses, try a sophisticated approach in the beginning. Once you excel at one niche, reach out to other ones to have a multi-dimensional service platform. You should note that bookkeeping requires you to be accurate and efficient.

One mistake leads to misstatements in accounts. A small mistake in bookkeeping can give you bad ratings and impact your reputation as a bookkeeper. In addition, businesses trust those who have relevant experience and degrees, so you must have both to get going.

  • Dropshipping Business

The Singapore marketplace is dominated by online industries, especially e-commerce. The residents purchase a lot of things online which creates an immense opportunity for business for a person who has little capital to start.

You don’t necessarily need to sell products to acquire space in the e-commerce industry. Instead, you can start a dropshipping service where a buyer can connect with a seller online to purchase the goods. For this, good technical know-how and a little investment is needed.

You can create your website or use an existing e-commerce operator’s website and connect sellers with buyers. You can make profits as and when the goods are sold by the seller.

Things required:

  • Trustworthy suppliers
  • E-commerce/website subscription
  • Product list.

Initial Investment:

  • S$ 1000 only.

Things to keep in mind:

You need to undergo a lot of due diligence in dropshipping business for avoiding possible offences. Finding a product that has demand is a task and accordingly finding a reliable supplier for it takes time. You need to be very careful about the supplier to protect your brand from abuse. In addition, dropshipping business cannot quick money so you need to be very patient after starting.

Key Takeaway

The online industry has dropped costs as compared to traditional businesses. $20,000 may not be a big amount for starting a business but the internet has infused tremendous opportunities for people who cannot invest heavy funds in a business.

With your capital of $20k, you just need to find great opportunities and market gaps. Have an effective plan to execute your ideas and you are good to go.

Whatever business you choose to do, make sure you comply with all regulatory requirements and keep your financial data in the green line. In addition, keep your avoidable expenses as low as possible.

With all these tips and tricks, you can become a good entrepreneur and run a successful business in Singapore.

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